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Consumer Tips

A financial column provided by the Pennsylvania Association of Community Bankers on a wide range of topics.



DATE: Dec 2017

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DATE: February 2013

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12 Tips for Protecting Your Mobile Devices


Protecting Your ATM/Debit Card
Protecting your Visa/Mastercard Debit or ATM card requires 24/7/365 days a year monitoring. Our fraud detection programs monitor your card transactions for any suspicious activity. If potentially fraudulent transactions are taking place, we'll contact you immediately so that future fraudulent transactions can be avoided.

What We Monitor

Your card transactions are monitored for purchases outside your normal purchasing patterns, unusual timeframes and geographical locations, or purchase patterns that are consistent with previously identified fraud trends.

How We Contact You

Getting in touch with you quickly is critical to stopping any potential card fraud. 86% of Americans have a mobile device and this offers a convenient and free* method to contact you fast. With our Card Alert Notification service, you will receive a text message asking you to confirm if a suspicious transaction was authorized by you.

Receiving a text message

  • The text message will arrive with a 5 digit code (33748) and contain our financial institution name, dollar amount of the transaction and merchant name.
  • You will be asked to reply with "Yes" if you authorized the transaction. You will receive a confirming text message and can continue to use your card with confidence.
  • A "No" reply means you have not authorized the transaction. You will receive a confirming text message and you will be contacted immediately by a fraud specialist to protect your account. Please answer this important call.
  • Do not reply to the text message with any personal or confidential card information.
  • If you would like to opt out of receiving these ,important messages by text, you may reply with STOP to indicate this preference.

Help Us Protect You

  • Keep us up to date with your current mobile and phone numbers and contact information.
  • Traveling in the U.S. or to a foreign country for an extended period of time? Contact us prior to your departure and we'll make our monitoring more flexible during your travel or vacation time.

*Text messages to your mobile device are free, but all other fees on calls and texts are subject to the terms of your voice/data plan with your mobile carrier.

What You Should Know About Safeguarding Your Personal Information
From the Americans Banker Association, February 2013

  • Create c0mplic@t3d passwords. Avoid birthdays, pet names, and simple passwords like 12345. It is also important to change passwords at least three times a year. Because friendly theft- theft by someone the victim knows- is the most common type of identity theft or fraud, don't share your passwords with family members and be mindful of who has access to your personal information.
  • Continually monitor accounts. Check account activity and online statements often, instead of waiting for the monthly statement. You are the first line of defense because you know right away if a transaction is fraudulent. If you notice unusual or unauthorized activity, notify your bank right away.
  • Protect yourself online. Be sure computers and mobile devices are equipped with up-to-date anti-virus and malware protection. Never give out your personal financial information in response to an unsolicited email, no matter how official it may seem. Your bank will never contact you by email asking you for your password, PIN, or account information. Only open links and attachments from trusted sources. When submitting financial information on a website, look for a padlock or key icon at the top or bottom of your browser, and make sure the Internet address begins with "https." This signals that your information is secure during transmission.

If you are a victim of fraud and suspect your personal information has been compomised, follow these steps:

  • Call your bank and credit card issuers immediately so necessary steps can be taken to protect accounts.
  • A police report should be filed and the fraud units of the three credit-reporting companies should be contacted.
  • A "victim statement" should be placed in credit reports.
  • Make sure to maintain a log of all the contacts you make with authorities regarding the matter. Write down names, titles, and phone numbers in case you need to re-contact them or refer to them in future correspondence.
  • For more advice, contact the FCT's ID Theft Consumer Response Center at 1-877-ID THEFT (1-877-438-4338) or
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